Kazematten is the Dutch word for Casemates. These casemates are a large underground structure. It's a tunnel system from the late 18th century. It was used during the wars as a bomb free shelter. It was also a storage space for ammunition and other war items.
You can join a guided tour through the tunnels every weekend at 2 o clock. A tour takes one hour and starts at the Waldeck Bastion in the Waldeck Park. Taking part in the tour costs 3,50 Euros for adults.
I heard that it's one of the Musts, so we decided to go there and see.... Well, 1st of all we were not lucky with the weather - the pathes going round the Fort are all naturally formed, i.e. it's plain earth, so due to constant raining we walked in mud up to our knees; 2nd as we were told, tourists were not allowed to get on top of the Fort, thus no much fun just go around it; 3d we were really lucky to find out that there were caves nearby, what was really great experience.
During your visit in Maastrict you will probably take a trip to the Sint Pietersberg, because you may want to visit the caves or you are looking for some outdoor action "en plein aire" at the hill. Then, it would be a good idea to take a look at the old sint Pieter Fort. This is an 18 th. century fort, build as a pentagon, with a strategic overview on Maastricht. You can have a guided tour (1 hour) and there are terraces that give a splendid view over the city and its surroundings. When you go up the hill, following the road that leaves from the fort, you will find large fields; an idealistic scenery for a picknick.
In the 16 th. Maastricht has started to build its fortification, in order to protect the city against the enemies. There now exists a giant labyrinth of old tunnels under the city, that are (partly) open to public. You can get back in time by exploring these tunnels and see how the soldiers in those days used this strategic place. But be aware: the tunnels have ceilings that are build for 16th cenury Maastricht men, so if you are a tall person, you may feel it in your back, when you have explored this underground world!
Only by guided tour
Just outside the center (the park is in between) you will find quite some huge part of the remaining of the Kazematten.
The word Kazematten originated in the Spanish language.
Kaze... refers to Casa and Matte was something similar as 'dead' so they were the deadhouses....
and for a huge amount of soulders it was!
You can apply for a guided tour if you are with a group.
Take some thing warm with you, it can be chilly as it is all underground!
When in Maastricht I visited the Sint Pieters fort, just at about 15 minutes walk outside the centre.
The location you can see on the 'general tips' map of Maastricht, it is where the arrow is pointed at.
There is a huger fort at the other side but that is transformed into a more recreative area.
An organization has been set up to preserve this fort and keep it as a patrimonium of the city and a witness of it's history.
They want to keep it as much as possible as it was because it has been part of such a turbulent history of the city.
Pity that it is the lack of money and sometimes the ignorant interference of people that prevent this group from realizing their aim.
On the map you can see how this fort looked liked in 1840, at the top you can see the drawing of the canon artillery (canon battery?) between 1816-1822.
Between 1575 and 1825, mining activities created a network of galleries at Maastricht's western limits. These mining galleries were used in times of siege for subterranean approach and elimination of the enemy. The tour lasts about 1 hour and is led by an official VVV Tourist Office guide who gives the visitor an impression of the 'how and why' of this unique military monument, with is domed vaults, impressive shellproof refuges, powder rooms, plunging steps and a variety of galleris.
Build in 1816 as a part of the fortifications "hoge fronten." You can admire the fort from outside. there is now a playground for children located.